I have spoken about collaboration before but I think this is my first true attempt….
I first saw/heard Adam Donen at the launch of his last album Vampires, I was invited by Klarita Pandolfi who has promoted shows for us both. I had no idea what to expect as I hadn’t listened to Adam before I went to the show. I was very very pleasantly surprised and totally intrigued and fascinated by his songs, his performance and equally his persona.
We met after the show and spoke briefly, he had seen me perform one of my solo Moog shows and we talked of getting together and discussing composition. I didn’t see Adam again until he played another show in London, late in 2011. During the performance I began to think how strange and interesting it would be to work together. Our styles so dissimilar.. Actually Klarita had suggested to us to do a show together, to share the bill but it seemed more of a challenge to actually collaborate and write something.
Adam and Klarita had visited a small church that Adam wanted to perform in and had a date of the Thursday before Easter. With this in mind we met and discussed our opportunity. It being before Easter and in a church suggested to us something grand and the previous week Christopher Hitchens had died, so we were inspired to write a secular requiem. We quickly came up with the idea to write it in different movements that might suggest the seasons of the year and with a prelude. We also decided that we should write two movements each and then combine on the fifth but the whole piece should be threaded through with hints of each movement within them. It should be always hinting at the past and the future. So I chose the Prelude and Summer and Adam Spring and Autumn and together we would master Winter.
The whole undercurrent of the piece is desolation and despair, loss and hopelessness… Each season bringing no respite and only hope and rejection. We thought about musicians and decided we would need a small orchestra of abut 13 players. I of course needed two cellos and a french horn… So we obviously needed a bigger church! We were meeting in a cafe called Prague in Shoreditch about 100 metres from Shoreditch Church so it didn’t take long to put two and two together.
We then went away slightly bemused at our task but foolishly confident! I started to think about the Prelude and one evening I sat at the piano at home and wrote it. The next day I orchestrated it with two cellos and a viola and it was done. Adam sent me Autumn about a week later. Summer followed quite easily, I think the more I am inspired by a project the more easily the music comes. I also found myself channeling Adam in my writing. I usually write very sparsely but in Summer it is quite full. Adam is finding his writing becoming increasingly spartan! A true collaboration!!
Last week we met to do a photo shoot for the poster and flyers and we did a short interview which I will post here once it’s edited.
The poster was designed by Anna Dorfman and is available for purchase signed by Adam and I.
not to be repeated performance
Monday, April 2nd 2012, 7PM
St Leonard’s Church, Shoreditch, London